Miami Football: Pressure is on Hurricanes’ QB Brad Kaaya in 2015


The Miami Hurricanes finished the year in a disappointing fashion last season and this year could end up the same way if the Hurricanes can’t rally around sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya.

Prior to the start of last season, hopes were high in Coral Gables. The Miami Hurricanes were looking to capitalize on a nine win season in 2013 and bring the University of Miami back to relevance. 2014, however, didn’t turn out the way the South Beach faithful had hoped.

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Al Golden and the ‘Canes started the year off the right way. Miami managed to win six of their first nine games. The tenth game took them to Tallahassee where they lost to Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles 30-26. After that game, Miami struggled in a huge way. The Hurricanes lost all of their remaining games, including their bowl game to South Carolina.

And through it all, good and bad, was freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya. Kaaya had a pretty good season last year. He threw for 3198 yards, and threw 26 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions. That’s a solid touchdown to interception ratio for a freshman. He turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for a team that had a less than pleasant season.

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There were times during the season where he looked like a freshman, but there were also flashes of brilliance that should have Miami fans feeling excited for the rest of his career. If anything, this year Hurricane fans will be able to gauge exactly how good Kaaya is or can be.

Miami plays one of the toughest schedules in the country. Nine of their opponents played in bowl games last year. To go along with that, Miami isn’t in the best shape in regard to the talent on their roster. Kaaya is one of the few bright spots on this Miami team. If they are going to do well, and in extension save their coach’s job, then the burden is going to be almost entirely on their quarterback to do so.

The pressure of this upcoming season for the green and orange is almost unfair to Kaaya. He isn’t going to get much help, he will have to deal with a mediocre offense around him and will have to lean on a rather pedestrian defense. Football is a quarterbacks game these days, so it really isn’t much to say that the season will be dictated by the play of the man behind the center. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that if Miami is to be successful, Kaaya will have to have a superstar caliber year as a sophomore.

With the difficulty of the schedule, and a team that is, by Miami standards, rather devoid of talent (especially in comparison to some of the teams that they will play this season), if Kaaya can lead them to eight or nine wins and a bowl game appearance, we could be talking about one of the best players in the game going into next season. Heck, depending on his performance, we could even be talking about a Heisman contender.

But all of that depends on the product that he places on the field. This year is a career defining season for this young quarterback. He has tremendous talent and upside, and now it’s time to see what he does with it.

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